Research: Progress releases 2016 .NET developer insights

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Progress has released some insightful research into the state of .NET development in 2016, based on the responses of more than 100,000 respondents. With major advancements being made by Microsoft - particularly in cross-platform development - the framework is ready to achieve new heights within the enterprise. 

The survey was conducted by Telerik, a subsidiary of Progress which offers end-to-end mobile app development solutions. Telerik asked the developers for their views on key technologies and innovations across web, desktop, and mobile app development, and witnessed a sense of excitement around the open source push and cross-platform support for .NET development. 

"Over the last year, .NET has moved further into the open source and cross-platform space. These moves allow .NET to continue to grow and thrive within the enterprise, and are in keeping with similar trends in cloud and mobile," said Brandon Satrom, General Manager for Developer Platforms and Tools, Progress. "As Microsoft continues to innovate across desktop, mobile and web, our survey findings indicate that many opportunities lay ahead for .NET and the .NET developer ecosystem." 

A key discovery of the research is that developers are preferring the web as their choice platform; with 49 percent of respondents developing responsive web software, and 45 percent building desktop web applications. In comparison, just 30 percent said they are making Windows desktop applications. Half of the developers who identify as being web developers are employing responsive web techniques to produce apps for use on both desktop and mobile. 

Xamarin, acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, represents the preferable cross-platform tool for the 62 percent of native mobile app developers. For the 43 percent of hybrid mobile developers, Apache Cordova equals the number one choice. 

Excitement is building for cross-platform and OSS development: 

  • 38% of respondents think the opportunity to build and run .NET apps cross-platform is "amazing." 

  • 43% think that .NET Core being open sourced and cross-platform is a "dream come true." 

  • 63% of respondents won't touch a Mac, but 29% own iPhones. 

Microsoft still appears to suffer an uphill struggle when it comes to Universal Windows Platform (UWP) adoption, despite slow gains. 44 percent of Windows desktop app developers report they are "unfamiliar" with UWP, whilst 41 percent of mobile developers and 58 percent of web developers also responded the same. 

Nevertheless, it's clear that Microsoft is handling .NET well and the future looks bright for the framework. The latest moves by the company towards open source and cross-platform support have been met with a positive response by developers, and that's as good a sign as any. 

The full survey, which features insights around IDE preferences, lightweight code editors, reporting, command line tooling, package managers, XAML, mobile hardware, and more is available here

What are your thoughts about .NET development? Let us know in the comments. 

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